The latest Europe Project survey by Századvég revealed that a majority of European citizens do not agree with a ban on motor vehicles with internal combustion engines by 2035.

The debate on the legislation adopted by the European Parliament last February, which would ban the sale of motor vehicles with internal combustion engines powered by conventional fuels in the European Union from 2035, has reignited recently. The measure already poses significant challenges for EU automotive manufacturers, traditionally the most exportable and innovative key sector in the Community, who are already facing the adverse consequences of the European energy crisis, in addition to strict ideology-driven regulation. Given the prominence of this intervention in economic policy, Századvég surveyed Europeans’ views on the ban.

The results of the survey show that the measure lacks sufficient public support, with almost two-thirds of EU citizens disagreeing and less than a third of respondents in favour.

A comparison between countries shows that only Cyprus has a higher percentage of those in favour of intervention than those against, by only 2%. In addition, the issue is most divisive in Malta, Sweden and Portugal, but the majority in these countries are also against the ban.

Respondents are most opposed to this measure in the Czech Republic (78%), Slovenia (75%) and Lithuania (73%), with three other Member States (Slovakia, Estonia and Hungary) also having a rejection rate of over 70%. It is also noteworthy that the majority of society in Germany (69%) and France (64%), which are of particular importance for the automotive industry, are also against the move.

• The Project Europe research

In the first half of 2016, the Századvég Foundation conducted a public opinion survey covering the 28 Member States of the European Union to examine the views of European citizens on the issues that most affect the future of the Union. The Project28 public opinion survey was the most extensive ever, with a unique survey of 1,000 randomly selected adults per country, totalling 28,000. The main objectives of the survey were to gauge public sense of prosperity and to explore public attitudes towards the performance of the European Union, the migration crisis and rising terrorism. Following the surveys of 2017, 2018 and 2019, the Századvég Foundation, on behalf of the Hungarian government, continued the research since 2020 under the name Project Europe, which continued to reflect on the most dominant topics in European political and public discourse.

Once again, the 2024 survey aimed to explore public attitudes to the most important public issues affecting our continent. In addition to the public sense of prosperity, the performance of the European Union, the energy crisis and the migration crisis, and in line with the new challenges facing Europe, the main topics of this year’s public opinion poll are the rising geopolitical tensions, the perception of the media and child protection. The 2024 survey covered the European Union, the United Kingdom, Norway and Switzerland, and a total of 30,000 randomly selected adults were interviewed using CATI between 14 February and 15 April.